By Ikenna Uwadileke and Goodness Iwezua
Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, says Nigeria’s maritime sector is a haven of opportunities for the world to exploit.
Amaechi said on Tuesday at the virtual 2021 Greek-Nigeria Chamber of Commerce and Technology Investment and Trade Forum that Nigeria is a strategic destination for investments opportunities by Greece.
He stressed that the maritime sector should be particularly attractive to Greek trading and shipping financing.
The minister noted that security on Nigeria’s waterways had improved so tremendously as to encourage increased investments.
According to him, Nigeria is open to investments in seaports and other maritime activities.
“Presently there is huge investment in security and efforts are in place to sustain it,’’ he said.
Amaechi also said that Federal Government’s approval for the construction of three new seaports is critical in boosting efficient transportation system.
The new seaports would be at Onne, Rivers; Lekki in Lagos State and Warri in Delta.
Amaechi said the Lekki Seaport would be inaugurated in December 2022.
Earlier, Mr Emeka Offor, Acting Executive Secretary, Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC), restated the commission’s commitment to assist investors to navigate challenges in investing in Nigeria.
He noted that the Federal Government had shown strong commitment in addressing the challenges militating against investments.
According to him, Nigeria is one of the most entrepreneurial, innovative and ingenious economies in Africa.
“The Federal Government has put in place reforms that would ensure that Nigeria moves up in terms of ease of doing business.
“Nigeria enacted the Companies and Allied Matters Act supported by the Finance Act so it is easier to do business in Nigeria now,’’ Offor said.
While identifying possible areas of interest for investments, Offor pointed out that the 36 states in the federation and the FCT have various areas of competitive advantage.
“Nigeria is critically endowed with sectors of interests to investors and the NIPC will continue to provide the positive information that would guide the investors to make informed decisions,’’ Offor said.
He added that Nigeria is better positioned as an ideal gateway economy for leveraging African Continental Free Trade Agreement.
According to him, Nigeria with a large domestic market; expanded market for Nigerian goods and services, creating jobs and economic growth, positions the country as an ideal gateway economy.
He added that Nigeria’s manufacturing value addition is more than seven times the average of the top 20 economies in Africa.
In his contribution, Mr Olukayode Pitan, Managing Director/CEO Bank of Industry said that investment in technology was an area that should be explored.
He identified Nigeria’s creative industry as being very active with about 73 billion dollars.
Pitan expressed the BoI’s willingness to give loans to investors at subsidised rates to encourage businesses.
Mr Deriziotis Konstantinos, Member Board of Directors, Athens Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said that Nigeria opened up windows of opportunities where a deepened bilateral cooperation would become profitable for both countries.